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'That should ­resonate far wider' - national media find hidden Liverpool statement made at Anfield

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Goals from Luis Diaz, Cody Gakpo (2) and Mohamed Salah ensured Liverpool would advance to the knockout stages of the Europa League as Group E winners after a 4-0 trouncing of Lask Linz at Anfield.

His team won Group E with a game to spare to avoid the playoff route into the last 16 of the Europa League and release any pressure from the group finale away at Union Saint-Gilloise.

"A clean sheet for Caoimhín Kelleher, the 199th goal of Mohamed Salah’s Liverpool career, no injuries and two goals for Cody Gakpo, flourishing on his return to the forward line, ticked the rest of the boxes for a grateful Liverpool manager.

"Liverpool’s superiority over their Europa League opponents has not been in doubt, an off-night in Toulouse notwithstanding, and was underlined throughout a comfortable defeat of Lask.

A 10th successive victory at Anfield in all competitions this season represents the club’s best start to a home campaign since the double-winning season of 1985-86."

Paul Joyce, The Times - "Progress to Europa League knockout stage arrived with a minimum of fuss"

"Hidden beneath the humdrum of a ­routine European success for Liverpool was a gem of a statistic that should ­resonate far wider.

"When Luis Diaz opened the scoring against the Austrian side LASK last night, his header ensured that for ­only the third time in the club’s ­history they had scored in at least 30 consecutive matches.

"For two of those streaks to come under Jürgen Klopp not only highlights his commitment to attack, but also encapsulates the challenge to opponents seeking to stymie their ­intent on all fronts over the coming months.

"Scoring once against Liverpool is plainly not enough to prevail and that Klopp might yet eclipse the present record of 34 games — which he set in 2021 — against Manchester United on December 17 adds an extra piquancy to that fixture.

"LASK could not find a way beyond Caoimhin Kelleher and victory ­ensured Liverpool’s continental adventure will continue into the new year as the progress to Europa League knockout stage arrived with a minimum of fuss."

Lewis Steele, Daily Mail - "A clash of ice and fire"

"Winter is coming, and this was a clash of ice and fire at Anfield.

As temperatures plummeted to lows of -4C on Merseyside, Liverpool produced a red-hot performance to affirm their status as kings of Group E and ensure safe passage to the knockout stages of the Europa League.

"Jurgen Klopp had challenged his team to make this a 'special night' and qualify for the next rounds of the competition and they passed that task with flying colours, easily seeing off Austrian side LASK.

"A Cody Gakpo brace added to goals from Luis Diaz and Mo Salah on what, in many ways, was a perfect night for Klopp and Co.

"That will likely be the case again when Liverpool go to Union Saint-Gilloise in the final group game in a fortnight."

Emma Smith, BBC Sport - "Lask were overcome by sheer quality"

"It would have been a major shock had LASK, who have now failed to beat English sides in six meetings and have conceded at least two goals in every game, won at Anfield.

"But it was a major shock when Toulouse, 15th in Ligue 1, beat Liverpool last time out, disrupting what had looked like a procession to the latter stages of the Europa League.

"Perhaps stung by events in France, Liverpool began this match much livelier and got the job done.

"Although LASK - roared on by endlessly noisy away fans - did have their moments, they were overcome by the hosts' sheer quality."

Paul Gorst, ECHO - "The prospect of a Dublin final in May is at least a mouthwatering one"

"Liverpool might have quietly considered themselves as one of the strongest in that competition had they actually qualified for it and that they are unable to take full advantage of the lack of genuine standout contenders only serves to underscore the lingering frustration of the fifth-place finish last time out.

"Liverpool's potential to be one of the strongest in Europe next season has to be the fuel that makes this one a memorable outing in the continent’s B competition.
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